Québec City's action plan to reduce GHG
Population growth, energy choices, economic growth and technological innovation are factors modulating the emission of greenhouse gases. In order to avoid the 4 degrees C increase, everyone is concerned and must act now. Many modern cities in North America, as my hometown Québec City, have already adopted action plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I wish to inform my collegues at the provincial ministry of the Environment about Québec City's action plan 1, and how it succeeded so far in that goal with the help of the citizens.
Source of photo: http://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca/citoyens/deplacements/index.aspx
Achieving the goals Québec City has performed well since 2004 in achieving the goals of its 22,3% GHG reduction plan2, thanks to better management of its municipal activities, citizens’ involvement and education. It resulted in a decrease of 60,629t eq.CO2 from 2004-2010. Among others, new technologies such as biogas collector/burning system and methane biofiltration are being used for waste management in the city; aquathermia, solar walls and heat recovery are in place for energy efficiency ; a "green belt" is protected around the city for CO2 captation, limiting urban sprawl, cooling effect, people's health, leisure and education; 30% of the territory are kept as natural areas ; the 278 km bike paths are now connected through the city. Also, the city’s spatial planning includes better public transportation, greenroofs, two new green districts, new LEED municipal buildings, more parks and local services, woodlots, tree planting and the end of urban sprawl. Overall, the plan is reducing the emission of more than 110,000t eq.CO2 per year.
In more details: Reducing GHG via environmental performance - Québec city has installed a biogas collector and burning system, and developed a pilotproject for methane biofiltration; - recycling and grasscycling have been promoted; - 1,000 ha of forests and urban woodlots, wetlands, watersheds, green belt, and natural forest around Québec City are protected, with paths and access to bike paths, and fauna and flora inventories for biodiversity estimation. Here is the link to the city's urban forest plan (in French): http://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca/grandsprojetsverts/milieuxnaturels/docs/plan_directeur_milie ux_naturels_foret_urbaine.pdf ; - there are 33 natural parks (30% of the territory).
In more details: Reducing GHG via social performance In Québec City, education to citizens from the city has lead to more conciousness about the city itself and has lessen GHG emissions by citizens involvement. The city reaching people is promoting the belonging feeling, and help people get involved at their homes. For example, composting and recycling relieve the city's landfill. Saving water is promoted, as is public transportation for less pollution, respecting natural areas, walking in natural areas for wellbeing, changing lighting at home, etc. - citizen’s involvement in the action plan reduced 60,629t eq.CO2 (2004-2010); - distribution of an information kits for citizens and increasing citizens awareness about ecoenergetic homes, composting and efficient car use; - spatial planning with better public transportation, more parks and services, woodlots, tree planting and end of urban sprawl;
In more details: Reducing GHG via sustainability and sustainable development - 22,3% CO2 reduction achieved from better management of municipal activities; - 40 hybrid vehicle and plans for rechargeables and totally electric, computerized monitoring of fuel consumption; - education of at least 2,500 municipal employees on ecological and economical driving - new city buildings certified LEED; - two new green districts planned3; - reduction of 1,900t eq.CO2/yr from better heating, air-conditioning, ventilation and lighting in existing municipal buildings; - aquathermia used in a wastewater treatment plant; - solar walls installed in 2 firestations, reducing 115t CO2 (25,000$/yr); - reduction of 110,000t CO2/yr from heat recovery at the incinerator and vapor sold to a paper producer; - the largest green roof in Canada (1,830 m2) on a library, reducing air-conditioning costs, and geothermal installation for air-conditioning and heating; - first town in North America to have a remote management system of city lights, reducing light pollution in the sky and houses, and saving 40% of that budget annually; - traffic lights changed in LED, for a 70% saving in electricity; - 278 km network of connected bike paths; - public transportation with some electric buses, velobuses, hybrid buses, planned tramway, a ferry which saves 30 km of road transport. Here is the sustainable mobility plan: (in
English) http://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca/en/docs/MobilityPlan.pdf .
The biggest challenge Most of greenhouse gas emissions, that is 37%, are generated by vehicle traffic in the Québec City agglomeration4 (Québec city's Mobility plan, p. 21-22, figure below). The largest efforts and investments are therefore put on this sector for decreasing GHG emissions.
Figure 1.Kg of CO2 emitted per trip per person for various modes of transportation in Québec City (source: http://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca/grandsprojetsverts/transport/docs/PlanMobiliteDurable.pdf)
Factors responsible for increase in GHG emissions include the trend towards single-family homes in the suburbs. Limiting urban sprawl help preserve green areas around the city, but also more efficient transportation. The reduction target of the city is 20% below 1990 levels by 2020. The Sustainable Mobility Plan’s implementation will help reach this objective. (Québec city's Mobility plan, p. 38).
References 1. Ville de Québec. 2004. Plan de réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre (in French). (Québec city's plan to reduce greenhouse gases). http://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca/grandsprojetsverts/air/docs/gesplanaction.pdf 2. Ville de Québec. 2011. Gaz à effet de serre (in French). (Greenhouse gas reduction general information): http://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca/grandsprojetsverts/air/index.aspx 3. Ville de Québec. 2014. Les grands projets verts (in French). Québec City's plan for Green districts. http://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca/grandsprojetsverts/index.aspx) 4. Ville de Québec. 2011. Sustainable Mobility Plan (in English). http://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca/en/docs/MobilityPlan.pdf